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Reflections of Past Interns

An internship at the Holy See Mission is a demanding but exceptionally formative and fulfilling experience. It not only provides direct exposure to the inner workings of the United Nations, from international law and diplomatic relations to multilateral cooperation, but also enables interns to deepen their understanding of Catholic Social Teaching, and approach global issues through the lens of faith. Here you can read the reflections of past interns.

My experience at the UN with the Holy See

Mateo Arana Brando

By Mateo Arana Brando

Intern, Fall Session 2023

I feel deeply grateful and excited as I reflect on the formative time I spent at the United Nations in New York with the Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See. During this time, I had the opportunity to deepen my understanding of international law, diplomatic relations, and multilateral cooperation through representing the Mission in various spaces such as the Security Council, where I covered the humanitarian and security situation in Mali, Afghanistan, and Syria, as well as the high-level meeting on peace and security in Ukraine, attended by various heads of State and government.

Additionally, I attended the general debate of the high-level week at the opening of the 78th session of the General Assembly, where the various presidents and prime ministers of the Member States spoke to the world. I also had the honor of representing the Holy See throughout the 78th session of the Sixth Committee, where vital global legal issues were discussed, such as the fight against terrorism, climate change, rising sea levels, UNCITRAL standards, and national and international Rule of Law, among many others.

Furthermore, I participated in all legal sessions of the current General Assembly, which included reports from the presidents of the International Criminal Court and the International Court of Justice (from which five new judges were elected). I also attended the 22nd session of States Parties to the Rome Statute, where the most effective strategies to combat the most serious international crimes were discussed, and the preparatory ministerial meeting for the Summit of the Future, a conference aimed at revitalizing global multilateralism.

In the exercise of my duties, which included researching various diplomatic and legal topics and preparing reports for the Secretariat of State of the Holy See on the various debates to inform decision-making, I gained valuable knowledge and skills that I will cherish forever. However, the best part of the experience was, undoubtedly, working hand in hand with top- level professionals from all countries and regions of the world who are committed to building an international community grounded in the inalienable dignity of human beings and peace among all nations.